Rebels rolling as State series looms

Published 11:30 am Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ole Miss is heading into one of its biggest series of the year on a nice roll.

The Rebels batted around during a six-run fourth inning Wednesday, and went on to beat Murray State 8-5 for their fifth consecutive victory.

Braxton Lee went 4-for-5 with two RBIs, and Will Allen doubled twice, drove in one run and scored another. Austin Knight also had three hits for the Rebels (27-8), who totaled 16 hits in the game.

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Ole Miss will head into Friday night’s series opener at Mississippi State with the winning streak and a chance to move into first place in the Southeastern Conference. It currently sits one game behind Alabama.

Murray State’s Kollin Dowdy delivered a two-run double in the top of the fourth inning, then scored on a ground out to give the Racers (14-16) a 3-0 lead.

Ole Miss, though, answered with its big rally in the bottom half. Allen led off with a double for the first of six hits in the inning. The biggest was a two-run single by Austin Anderson that made it 6-3.

Lee added an RBI single in the sixth inning, and Allen had an RBI double in the seventh to finish Ole Miss’ scoring.

Matt Denny, the second of seven pitchers used by Ole Miss, got the win. He worked two innings and allowed one run. Wyatt Short got the last two outs in the ninth for his second save.

Ole Miss’ pitchers combined to give up six hits and seven walks, and struck out nine.

“We were terrific offensively,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “Things started off slow. It was a bad night for us on the mound.”

LSU 5, Lamar 0

Nearly all of LSU’s pitching staff had a hand in a record-setting performance Wednesday.

LSU (25-8-1) used nine pitchers, who combined to give up four hits, two walks, and struck out 12 batters, to blank Lamar (18-15). It was LSU’s school-record 11th shutout of the season.

“Going into the season, pitching was an area of concern because seven of our pitchers from last season graduated or moved on to professional baseball,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “We don’t have a lot of power arms on this staff, but (pitching coach) Alan Dunn does such a phenomenal job with our pitchers and gets the absolute most from them.”